I can’t remember who I was talking to but we got on to the subject of managers – the good, the bad and the downright awful. It got me thinking about managers I’ve worked with over the years and what’s been good or bad about them. So this week, I thought I’d share my top 3 best managers with you. Next week we might delve into the bottom three…
One of the best managers I’ve ever worked with was just after I’d become an audit assistant manager myself, and I was working in a project role in Canary Wharf for a few months.
What made her so good? What I remember most about her is that she was really patient with me and spent loads of time explaining things, both in terms of what I needed to do but also the context behind it. That made such a huge difference – knowing why you’re doing something as well as how you need to do it.
She was also really generous with her knowledge and expertise, and genuinely enthusiastic about her subject matter (which until then I hadn’t thought was all that exciting). She’d built up a huge amount of connections that went with her dizzying array of experience, and she was happy to share all of this with all her colleagues, no matter how junior or senior they were.
To give you an example, one of my jobs was to answer technical queries that came in via email. Some of them I already knew the answer to but there was one that was a bit of a conundrum. I did some research but I still couldn’t find a definitive answer. And I didn’t want to go back with something that was incorrect. So, although I could see she was completely swamped, I asked her. She found some time later that same day to help me, we went through the detail together and she didn’t make me feel silly for asking but intelligent for raising something interesting with her.
I don’t think I’m as patient as she was, but I do always make time to explain why I’m asking for a piece of work, or explain how I’d like something done and why – you never know when someone, with that knowledge, will be able to help you streamline a process or task even more.
Have you had a manager that’s inspired you? I’d love to hear about it.